Closing Address by Florence Parly

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Closing Address by Florence Parly, Minister of the Armed Forces, France

In her closing address, Florence Parly, French Minister of the Armed Forces talked about her experience of leading French interventions abroad and the changing reality of war. 

What makes Sahel a unique conflict

She first stresses the degraded economic context, religious tensions that lead to situations of civil war, combined with climatic factors, that fuel terrorist groups to gain local influence and thus threat national and international stability. 

She defends continuing the intervention in Sahel, arguing that military action is first necessary to protect people from terrorist groups. “We are not giving up our allies and partners, we cannot stand idle and do nothing while people are taken as human shields” She also stresses on defending the security of France and French citizens living in Sahel countries. 

Seeking an end to the conflict in Sahel

She also seeks to answer critics saying that military action does not answer the roots of terrorism. “It’s not about winning in the classical military sense. The objective is much more to weaken the terrorist groups sufficiently to hand over to the local armies” she said.

To achieve this goal, the Minister for the Armed forces highlights the importance of tackling the war of information: “War is now a combination of battlefields: those you can see and those invisible, like the information space used by terrorist groups and strategic competitors.” She eventually stressed the key role of European countries' support and the cooperation with the local governments. 


(c) An article written by Aude Dejaifve, PSIA student in the Joint Master in Journalism and International Affairs, 2021


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